Following the  oil spill incident caused by the capsized motor tanker (MT) Princess Empress in the province of Oriental Mindoro, the Department of Health (DOH), led by Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire, today conducted an onsite inspection and evaluation of the healthcare and evacuation centers, and provided immediate medical assistance and commodities to the affected communities.

The Health OIC, along with officials and responders from the Field Implementation and Coordination Team (FICT), Health Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB), and the Center for Health Development of Region IV-B, surveyed the area and visited the sitios residing near the oil spill.

“This recent incident calls for a whole-of-government approach, and with the environment being a major determinant of the health of our people, the DOH is working closely together with other concerned national government agencies and local government units to mitigate the effects of the oil spill to the affected communities. Over the last few days, we have been extending support to ensure that the immediate needs of the affected communities are properly addressed.” said OIC Vergeire.

On March 03, 2023, the DOH coordinated with the provincial and local government units to supply affected families with adequate emergency inhalation,  first aid, and protective equipment. Initial supply of hazmat suits suitable for chemical incidents has also been secured by the Department through its Poison Control Centers from Batangas Medical Center and East Avenue Medical Center to ensure that our frontline responders conducting rapid assessment and providing emergency response in the area are protected.

Today, more medicines, face masks, nebulizers, oxygen concentrators, and other supplies were turned over to the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro. These were made possible by pooling available stockpiles from Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Las Pinas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center, Tondo Medical Center, Valenzuela Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, and National Kidney and Transplant Institute. DOH toxicology experts are also on standby to support our primary care providers onsite.

“Pinapaalalahanan ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan ang mga mamamayan ng kung ang lugar ng oil spill ay malapit sa inyong tirahan, mas mainam kung tayo ay humanap ng pansamantalang matitirahan habang ito ay hindi pa nakakalap. Sa pagkakataong tayo ay hindi nakalikas: huwag lumangoy sa mga lugar na apektado ng langis; iwasang madikit sa sediment, buhangin, lupa, o mga bagay na kontaminado ng langis; huwag gumamit ng tubig na kontaminado ng langis para sa pagkonsumo ng mga tao o hayop; at huwag kumain ng isda, molusko, at iba pang pagkaing-dagat na nahuli sa lugar malapit sa oil spill” reminded OIC Vergeire.

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